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07.11.2004 Business & Finance

Takoradi Port to get $41m rehabilitation

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Takoradi, Nov. 7, GNA - The Government has secured a 41 million US Dollar loan {38 billion cedis) for a major rehabilitation of the Takoradi Port, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, announced on Saturday.

He said the main aspect of the job would be the dredging of the Port to a depth that would enable modern and bigger ships to berth, making it the preferred port of call in the West Africa Sub-region by ship owners. Mr. Osafo-Maafo said hundreds of jobs would be created and business activities would grow rapidly to enhance the chances of the country's desire to become the gateway to the Sub-region.

The Minister was addressing a political rally to launch the Takoradi Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) campaign programme at Takoradi. He said so far the government had proved beyond doubt that "it is capable of managing the economy and maintain the rule of law for true democracy to take roots in the country".

"We did not take the people for a ride, we delivered on our promise and the evidence is so glaring for all to see," Mr Osafo-Maafo said, adding that the economy was in shambles when the NPP took over the reigns of government in 2001.

The presence of leading gold mining companies in the country whose activities would further create employment was an indication of the confidence that its business partners had in the country's economic programmes, the Minister said.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo gave cocoa farmers the assurance that the producer price of the commodity would be increased when the world price went up and said the government recognised the sacrifices of farmers in the effort to revamp the economy.

He said the country had worked hard to achieve three of the four convergent criteria for the introduction of a common currency for ECOWAS member states.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said contrary to the notion that the purchasing power of the average Ghanaian had fallen, a critical assessment of the situation was that the lives of the people had improved considerably over the past three years.

He said the manifesto of the Party with the title "Positive Change Chapter II" would be launched on Monday, November eight. Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives said there had been vast improvement in the provision of roads, health facilities, education and transportation within the past three years.

These coupled with the marked growth in other sectors of the economy were proof that the government had fulfilled its 2000 campaign promises.

Mrs. Gladys Asmah, Minister for Women and Children's Affairs said the government, through its programmes had improved the lots of many women, they should therefore vote for the NPP to enable it to continue with the programme to empower women to create wealth.

The Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Takoradi asked the electorate to ignore "the lies and baseless accusation against the government" by its opponents and continue to have faith in the Kufuor administration.

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